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"Geography has made us neighbors. History has made us friends. Economics has made us partners, and necessity has made us allies. Those whom God has so joined together, let no man put asunder." - John Fitzgerald Kennedy

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Geopolitics is the study that analyzes geography, history and social science with reference to spatial politics and patterns at various scales (ranging from the level of the state to international). It examines the political, economic and strategic significance of geography, where geography is defined in terms of the location, size, function, and relationships of places and resources.

Energy
While the day-to-day focus of US military planning remains misdirected with regards to; Pakistan, Iraq and Afghanistan, American strategists are increasingly looking beyond these conflicts to envision the global combat environment of the emerging period--and the world they see is one where the struggle over vital resources, rather than ideology or balance-of-power politics, dominates the martial landscape. Believing that the United States must reconfigure its doctrines and forces in order to prevail in such an environment, senior officials have taken steps to enhance strategic planning and combat capabilities. Although little of this has reached the public domain, there have been a number of key indicators.

Free Trade and Globalization
The world is becoming more globalized, there is no doubt about that. While that sounds promising, the current form of globalization, neoliberalism, free trade and open markets are coming under much criticism. The interests of powerful nations and corporations are shaping the terms of world trade. In democratic countries, they are shaping and affecting the ability of elected leaders to make decisions in the interests of their people. Elsewhere they are promoting narrow political discourse and even supporting dictatorships and the 'stability' that it brings for their interests. This is to the detriment of most people in the world, while increasingly fewer people in proportion are prospering. One example, Iraq in midst of 'agricultural disaster', while buried pipelines from Haifa, Israel (New Amsterdam) to Iraq can carry (presently) oil/gas and precious stolen water.

Poverty
The latest World Bank figures for world poverty reveals a higher number of people live in poverty than previously thought. For example, the new poverty line is defined as $1.25 a day. 1.4 billion people live on or below that line. Furthermore, almost half the world - over three billion people - live on less than $2.50 a day and at least 80% of humanity lives on less than $10 a day. This update includes further discussion of those numbers with additional charts and graphs.

Inequality is a major cause of death, a World Health Organization report notes. A 3-year study found that even in wealthier nations, average life span can vary by some 28 years and the poorer you are the more likely you are to die younger. The majority of the world does not enjoy good health and this is largely due to bad social, political and economic policy choices. Finally, the issue of emphasis on drugs and commercialization of health systems over more effective preventative care is also introduced.

The global food crisis that has made headlines in 2008 has been simmering for a while. The rise in food prices, affecting the poorest the most, has a variety of causes, mostly man-made. It has resulted in riots, the overthrow of Prime Minister's and despots and many deaths around the world. It has been common to attribute causes to things like overpopulation but that seems to miss the real causes as food levels continue to outstrip demand even in a growing population. While media reports have been concentrating on some of the immediate causes, it seems that deeper issues and causes have not been discussed as much.

We try to highlight some of the misconceptions and unfairness in the current model for global trading, economics and the current form of overly corporate-led globalization. These articles attempt to provide a look at how this all has an impact on people around the world, especially the developing nations. [See: Trade, economy, & related issues] In 2005, the wealthiest 20% of the world accounted for 76.6% of total private consumption. The poorest fifth just 1.5%.

War and Peace
As details of the larger strategic picture emerge over what is at stake in the Georgia and larger Caucasus crisis it is becoming clearer that Moscow is determined to roll back not to the borders of Stalin and the Cold War of 1948. What Putin and now Medvedev have begun is a process of defusing the highly dangerous NATO expansion, led by the Washington warhawks since the end of the Cold War in 1990. Had events progressed as Washington had planned up until the surprise rejection of NATO membership from no less than ten European NATO member countries, including Germany and France at the April NATO Summit, Georgia would today have been in the admission process to NATO-ization along with Ukraine. That would have opened the door to full-scale encirclement of Russia militarily and economically.

In a certain sense it is not interesting who fired the first shot in South Ossetia in the night of 8 August. Clear is that Russia had prepared well for such a shot. To understand events, we need to go back to the basics of geopolitical fundamentals and US or Anglo-American strategy since 1945. This is what Russia has challenged by its response to Georgia?s attack.

Summary
The study of geopolitics has undergone a major renaissance during the past decade. Addressing a gap in the literature, undergroundnation.ca tries to explore the theoretical implications of contemporary geopolitics and geopolitical change with particular reference to territorial problems and issues of state sovereignty. Multidisciplinary in its scope, geopolitics includes all aspects of the social sciences with particular emphasis on political geography, international relations, the territorial aspects of political science and international law. Undergroundnation.ca seeks to maintain a healthy balance between systemic and regional analysis.

 


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